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When we are embroidering T-shirts, we are finding although the design is of a circle, it is coming out as an oval? Help.

Helpdesk Response

This is not an uncommon problem and many factors can cause this distortion such as poor disk design or the actual sequence in which the design is embroidered i.e. does the design start at the centre and work outwards? And is final stitching of circle being embroidered last?

The general consensus is that a circle design is more effective if the outer circle stitching is done last. Usually in this kind of embroidery it is better to start in the centre and work outwards stitching the outer circle last. However this was not possible with this particular design, as there were quite a few different colours and features. Therefore in this case, the design had to start at the outer circle and work inwards.

The stitches in this design had already been reduced to a minimum and once we established the design could not be changed we had to search for alternative solutions. We looked at adjusting the pull compensation as this adjusts the pull-in effect of the outline which sometimes this helps. . On this particular design though the adjustment did not help counteract the circle/oval effect. We also queried if the design was a perfect circle at the digitising stage as a squashed circle design often produces a perfect circle in practice. The digitising proved faultless.

We then discovered that the customer was using a tearaway backing and they noted that once the circle was embroidered, it simply fell off. This proved to be the crux of the problem as when the outer circle was being stitched, the backing fell away leaving no support for the stitching in the middle of the design and thus the design lost its registration.

As stated we could not change the design so we had to counteract this. I sent him a sample of our 50g cut away backing. Being that this backing is extremely strong and stable in all directions, it holds its place and won't perforate after the circle is embroidered.

The customer found two pieces of this particular backing used cross-laid solved the problem as the added strength of two pieces of backing held the design firm without interfering with the drape of the garment.